Sunday, August 17, 2008

"That was frustrating to watch. That was painful to watch."

Posted By on Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 3:47 AM

click to enlarge Payton sad

That quote — and that face — says it all about the Saints defense. But, if you're a stats kind of person, here are the frustrating, painful numbers:

  • Texans QB Matt Shaub went 16-of-14 for 187 yards, two touchdows and a gaudy 154.9 passer rating. That's his highest QB rating since Week 2 of last year (119.2).
  • Speaking of QB ratings, all three Texans quarterbacks had better than 100 ratings.
  • Texans wide receivers Kevin Walter and David Anderson combined for 161 yards receiving and a touchdown. I have no idea who those guys are, either.
  • The Saint had two red-zone opportunities in the first quarter, including a drive that started inside the 20 after a Texans muffed punt, but only managed 2 field goals out of them.

But Saints fans should avoid falling into a pit of despair, there were some pretty good highlights:

  • First and foremost — Reggie Bush's dazzling 12-yard penalty in which he jumped over Houston's Jacques Reeves for the score. "I watched the 400-meter hurdles last night," he said. "That might've had something to do with it." The play came right after Bush was absolutely stuffed by Mario Williams on a run up the gut. Bush celebrated by spinning and throwing the football into the stands. Talk about a release.
  • Deuce was back! He said he might have "been tentative at times" but how nice was it just seeing him on the field? "It's great to have the hammer back," Drew Brees said, appropriately. "It was step one for me," Deuce said. "If I had to grade myself it was average at best." All the things fans want to hear.
  •  Marques Colston's one-handed grab in the corner of the end zone has to be up there with the Bush play as one of the best pre-season plays you'll ever see.

The big picture, it seems, is that the Saints offense looks to potentially be top-10 in the league, at least. The defense seems like it still has a ways to go. Whether it's a lineup change, harder practices or just more film work, coach Payton seems desperate to find a way to plug up all the holes that appeared in the line and secondary.

Let's see what this week's practice has in store for us.

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